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BSE Origins

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LoveMoo11

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We have been learning about BSE/mad cow in my AVS 437 Animal Diseases class this week. Does anyone know for sure how BSE started? Our teacher told us that the best guess is that cows were fed rendered animal feeds that contained sheep with scrapie and that the scrapie somehow developed into mad cow. Scrapie and mad cow are very similar but I am still curious...if this is the case why do we only see these type of diseases in sheep and cattle? Why not dairy goats? Is it because they weren't fed animal feeds? Are bison affected by BSE?
 

Howdyjabo

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One paper I read suggested that there was a Spontaneous mutation of a few animals-- then it was spread by feeding brain materials back to others. Snow ball effect.

Never heard a reason for why its not widespread in other animals- but I would assume(if the above is correct) that they are resistant to the mutation in the cattle and there weren't enough of their species that spontaneously mutated that were fed to others of their specie to get it spread around.
 

cowgirl_up_47

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In Biology, the teacher was saying that in some places that there are still cannibals, the people that live there get "holes in there brain", like a human version of mad cow disease. He said it's from eating meat from their own species, like how mad cow disease developed.
 

dun

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The sheep/scrapie version is what I have read also.
 

Victoria

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It is probable that the cause of some forms of BSE is from eating rendered animal feeds but no one has even determined that 100%. If that were always the cause then why do some cows eating the products get BSE and others don't? There has to be other factors. Which is the problem with the feed bans etc. It gives people false confidence and then what happens when another case shows up? Which it will, estimates are that BSE will show up as a natural mutation in 1 out of every million cows. No feed, no anything, just because they were born. Start testing every cow and you will find it in high amounts. Test every healthy cow that is actually fit for human consumption and the public will be a lot happier because it won't be found.
Another theory is that it comes from sonic booms. (http://www.markpurdey.com/science_the_o ... _bse_8.htm). Not as crazy as it sounds. My guess is that there are a number of reasons why a cow may get BSE but that the cow has to be predisposed to getting it because of the way her prions respond. Feed bans are good, I am not saying I disagree with them but people have to quit thinking they will completely solve the problem, they won't.
 

4MBrangus

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cowgirl_up_47":wurnqadw said:
In Biology, the teacher was saying that in some places that there are still cannibals, the people that live there get "holes in there brain", like a human version of mad cow disease. He said it's from eating meat from their own species, like how mad cow disease developed.
I watched a show on this just the other day. From what they said the holes in there brain is from the disease and it is spread because they are eating infected individuals. They don't just get the disease from being cannibals. The individuals they are eating have to be infected same with the cows they are fed infected carcasses. I may have misunderstood your post and I apologize if I did.
 

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